Autarco presents the new Apex R6 mounting system

The Apex R6 mounting system

Autarco introduces the improved Apex R6 mounting system. This system is available for roof mounting of solar panels with an adjustable roof hook for pitched roofs, a wave clip for corrugated iron roofs and pole bolts with L-hook. Clear advantages of the Apex R6 are the easily adjustable rails that can be adjusted from top to bottom and from right to left and the fact that no loose nuts and bolts need to be used during assembly. Thanks to the smart and stable construction of the R6, ultra-fast mounting is possible while the solar panels are optimally and safely supported.

The R6 mounting system is available from the beginning of June 2022 and is part of the complete total solution from Autarco.

The Apex R6 mounting system

The Apex R6 mounting system from Autarco offers ultimate flexibility and ease of installation thanks to adjustable rails, ‘sliding’ clamps that are reusable up to 10 times and a center clamp with potential equalization. Furthermore, a PV installer no longer needs to use loose bolts or nuts during installation.

Other important features of this system are:

  • 40mm reach to adjust rail height;
  • Easy to apply black stylish end cap;
  • Bolts have a TORX-30 head;
  • All fixings are provided with a “rail connector”

Developed together with PV installers

In order to create the most efficient system possible, we have extensively tested the R6 months together with a number of experienced PV installers. We have used the feedback we received after these test installations to further optimize the system and to develop one of the most user-friendly mounting systems for solar panels.

Contact
Requests for further information about this press release can be sent to marketing@autarco.com.

Read more about the Apex R6 here

Calculating the cable connection of an inverter to the electricity grid

Solar panels generate energy that is fed back into the grid. To ensure that this can happen, the inverter will always make the voltage a little higher than the connection to the grid so that the power goes into the grid. To make sure that the voltage does not get too high, it is important to use the right cables. There is a maximum voltage to prevent other connected devices from breaking down (in the Netherlands this is 253 Volt)..

Maximum voltage difference in a cable


A common value for the maximum voltage difference in a cable is 1%. With 230 volts, we therefore recommend that there should be no more than 2.3 volts difference. If this loss increases, the cable will become warmer and one must ensure that it is adequately cooled. If a cable cannot dissipate its heat, a fire or short-circuiting may occur.

In addition to selecting the correct value for the fuses and circuit breakers, it is therefore important to check that all the cables are suitable for feeding back the power before installation.

Calculation example of voltage drop with a 1000 watt inverter


At maximum power and a voltage of 230 V, the inverter delivers a current of:
1000 W/230 V = 4.34 A.
A cable with a length of 43 metres and 2.5 mm2 is connected.
The resistance of a wire in the cable is:
R = 0.0175 x 43 /2.5 = 0.3 ohms, total (for both wires) therefore 0.6 ohms.
The voltage drop in the cable is then:
V = I x R = 4.34 A x 0.6 ohm = 2.6 Volt

So the loss is: 2.6 V /230 V = 1.1%.
In this case, a 1000 W inverter can be connected with a maximum cable length of 43 metres and the voltage loss is acceptable at around 1%. If you want to reduce the loss in the cable, you must connect a thicker cable, e.g. 4 mm2.

Maximum length of a cable


The following table calculates the maximum cable length for a number of inverters (assuming a voltage drop of around 1%).

wdt_ID Dikte (mm2) 1 kW 3 kW 5 kW 5 kW (3 fasen) 6 kW (3 fasen)
1 2,50 43 15 7
2 4,00 69 24 12 53 43
3 6,00 105 36 18 80 65
4 10,00 171 57 28

It is clear from the example of the 5 kW inverter that a three-phase inverter is more favourable when an electrical system is already equipped with three phases.

All calculations above are intended as a guide. If, for example, the mains voltage supplied in a system is higher, it may be advisable to choose a thicker cable or to adapt the system.

You can always contact Autarco for advice and suggestions, if you are going to install a larger inverter in an existing installation. This can prevent high costs afterwards.


Dealer testimonial National de Tongelreep project

In cooperation with Van Hout we have realised the Tongelreep project, which now has over 3000 Autarco solar panels on the Pieter van den Hoogenband swimming stadium. Of course we are very proud of this! Watch the video below for the final result of this beautiful project.


New Helios feature: Direct shade visualization

Optimizing a system design can be a tedious task, taking much of your time. With our most recent addition to Helios, that belongs to the past. With our new direct shade visualization, feedback on your system design is now only one click away! No need to wait for the yield calculations to finish, see the effect of your design choices instantly.

An important part of designing a well performing PV system is dealing with shade on the solar panels. Of course you want to have as little shading as possible, but in most designs this can’t be omitted fully. Therefore it’s important to know how shading is affecting the solar panels, so you can adjust your design to the situation. Direct shade visualization allows you to investigate and mitigate shading effects on the modules in your design, to make sure you end up with the most efficient solution for your customer.

When shade is visualized in Helios, all solar panels will show a colour to indicate their shade losses due to obstacles in the direct environment. With this information you can easily see which solar panels are not effective and choose to delete them. It will also help you to create your string plan in such a way that shaded solar panels are combined as much as possible.

You can select the shade visualisation feature by clicking on the symbol below the “calculate azimuth feature”

Yet another step in making solar simple and helping our dealers to offer the best PV-system design to their customers.

Want to know more about out best-in-class design software Helios? You can sign up for a free Helios demo account by clicking on this link or contact us via sales@autarco.com.


Relax and save time with the Autarco design service

Autarco introduces the complete design service. With the complete design service you can save time since our Autarco sales engineers will take over the entire design process for you.

This perfectly fits in our “Do what you do best, we do the rest” proposition, where we support our dealers as much as possible. Examples of this are our active performance monitoring and marketing support. With this proposition, our dealers are able to fully focus on growing their business. Contact your Autarco account manager if you are interested in knowing more about this service and the prices.

Don’t need the full design service but still want the assurance that your projects are modelled as efficiently as possible? We will optimise your project free of charge if the following data are added to your Helios design:

  • The azimuth, height and slope of the roof are known.
  • Solar panel- and mounting system type are known
  • It is clear which roof surfaces are selected
  • An inverter is selected

Autarco introduces home battery solution

In line with current trends, Autarco will introduce a home battery solution in March 2022 aimed at systems up to 30kWp. This intelligent energy solution will consist of a hybrid inverter for new installations or an AC coupled battery charger, to provide already existing Autarco solar power systems with battery storage. Autarco has opted for modular batteries, whereby the total storage capacity can easily be adjusted according to need by using different modules.

Autarco storage inverters will operate on an open platform and are compatible with a range of leading batteries, including LG Chem, BYD, PylonTech and others. This approach provides maximum flexibility to find the best solution and reduces supply chain dependencies.

Integration in Helios and the MyAutarco app

These new products are fully integrated into the Autarco total solution. For this, a number of things will be adjusted in our own software Helios and in the Autarco monitoring App MyAutarco. For example, it becomes possible in Helios to upload consumption profiles. Combined with the current revenue calculations, this allows us to calculate a business case even more accurately. Home battery monitoring is fully supported in the MyAutarco app.

Self-sufficiency

Our company name ‘Autarco’ comes from the word ‘autarky’ which in turn has its origin in the classical Greek word αύτάρκεια, which means self-sufficiency. We believe in a future where individuals, households, businesses and communities can thrive peacefully and in harmony with their environment. Self-sufficiency in the field of energy is central to this. With the current rising gas and energy prices, it is becoming increasingly profitable for households to invest in a home battery.

About Autarco

Autarco is the only producer in the world to supply a solar energy system in which all components are developed in-house and therefore connect seamlessly with each other. Thanks to this total solution, Autarco can also offer the kWh guarantee, which guarantees long-term savings on your energy bill.

For more information and exciting news about Autarco you can contact us at marketing@autarco.com. If you have any questions regarding Autarco products and services please feel free to contact sales@autarco.com.


Internal PELD

PELD stands for Power Export Limiter device and limits the power output to a specified level. Autarco already provides a separately sold PELD which is mainly used for larger  PV-systems with multiple inverters.

For smaller systems with one inverter the Internal PEL feature can be used on our newest Mark-II inverters. This can be done with a separately sold energy meter (S2.1P-SMARTMETER.1 for 1-phase grade tied connections, S2.3P-SMARTMETER.1 for 3-phase grid tied connections) which is easily connected to the inverter. Once connected to the inverter, the internal PEL feature ensure grid exports are constantly measured and will not exceed the set value. A PELD can specifically be used to improve the business case of your customers in the following two cases.

  1. When power output needs to be limited because the internal AC device or grid can not handle a higher power out.
  2. When the grid operator (temporarily) demands that  no or limited energy may be supplied to the grid.

Click here to learn more about our newest Mark-II inverters

Van Herp Dealer testimonial Video

What is the advantage of working with one brand? What can I do with Helios? In this video, owner and director Robin van Herp of Van Herp Solar Solutions explains why he chose Autarco and how a total solution helps his business to grow.


Autarco drone met infrarood camera Video

Drone inspecties maken het mogelijk om heel snel, grote aantallen zonnepanelen te inspecteren en doelgericht eventuele problemen te verhelpen.

Met onder andere infrarood cameras helpen drones om heel gericht issues zoals degradatie en string-storingen op te sporen en daarna op te lossen.

In onderstaande video zijn wij samen met Dutch Drone Company het dak opgegaan bij Nexus Corporation in Vianen om in levende lijve een drone inspectie te zien.


Building_blocks

What is a digital twin?

The added value of our 'Digital Twin'


There is so much marketing jargon these days that it’s hard for us to use the term Digitized or “Digital Twin” without feeling like we’re trying to impress with hollow terms. That is why we have decided to explain a term often used by Autarco such as ‘Digital Twin’ in layman terms.

The added value of Autarco’s ‘Digital Twin’ is that it allows us to actively measure the weather-dependent performance of the system at 15-minute intervals. This accurate performance analysis allows us to verify whether installations are performing as expected. If this is not the case, we can respond quickly to problems through timely detection. The end result is an average performance improvement of 8% for residential PV systems and a 5% improvement for commercial systems.

What is the "Digital Twin"

The ‘Digital Twin’ is an exact digital replica of your physical system. It is created in our software, Helios, during the design phase of your project. It forms the basis for the system that will be installed on your roof, the yield we expect the system to have for the kWh guarantee and ultimately the price that the installer asks you to pay.

The ‘Digital Twin’ is designed on top of an elevation map that the designer can adjust to add or remove obstacles. Shade is modeled not only from a chimney on your roof, but also from the tree or hill behind your house.

How do we use the 'Digital Twin'?

Autarco uses the ‘Digital Twin’ to:

  • Verify that the installation is made according to the design and that it is correctly positioned. We can achieve a high level of trust through our remote verification, but we also rely on working with the best network of dealers who maintain high quality standards.
  • Detect defects or abnormalities that occur during the life of the system.

In short: the solar power system on your roof must match the calculation of the “Digital Twin” in terms of yield. If this doesn’t happen, something is often wrong.

Simple explanation in layman terms

We are now going to simplify some technical details of the ‘Digital Twin’ using children’s toys.

A solar power system consists of a number of “strings”, which are solar panels that are connected to each other in groups. They usually consist of six to 20 panels, depending on the system size.

In Autarco’s digitized inverters, each string is monitored individually and provides detailed information to our European cloud every five to fifteen minutes.

The information in these messages (voltage, current, power) creates a “shape” that constantly changes based on the actual system design, different shade levels, environmental conditions and possible product defects. You can compare each string in the monitoring message with a 3D block (see image below).

At the same time, the “Digital Twin” creates an expectation of the “shape” of each string. To do this, we use data that we receive from different satellites (irradiance, cloud cover and temperature) that we receive every 15 minutes to represent reality as well as possible. We can usually match this satellite data to less than 1 km from your actual location across Europe. Think of the expectation generated by the digital twin as the holes in the ball.

The monitoring messages are the 3D shapes that must fit into the holes. There is a hole and a shape for each ‘string’. If one of the shapes doesn’t fit in the cube, something is wrong and Helios automatically creates a notification in the system. We then check the system for defects.

Who else can do this?

No one.

Autarco is currently the only solar company worldwide that uses this technology.